Recruiting Architects of the World: How Architect-US Helps Firms to Find International Talent

What if hiring an international architect with great skills, qualifications, and unique insights was as easy as hiring someone from upstate New York or Indiana? Architects worldwide dream of an opportunity to enter the competitive American market and it is common for young professionals to travel internationally for study or work. At the same time, many top US firms are searching for diverse new talent, yet the cost, paperwork, and bureaucracy of hiring international candidates can be discouraging. Architect-US was created to fill that gap.

Created for architects and by architects, Architect-US employs a rigorous screening process executed by a Selection Committee of Architects and Designers trained in the US who have the knowledge of what the industry needs. This deep understanding of the profession ensures that the program consistently provides top international talent and helps place them in American firms, taking care of the visa sponsorship, paperwork, and hassle. Continue reading to learn the ways that Architect-US can help your firm access the world’s best talent.

Joel Petersen, Associate Director for HR at KPF, highlights that by minimizing costs, reducing the amount of paperwork, and streamlining logistics, Architect-US is able to give firms an edge when competing for highly-skilled international talent.

Simplified and Expedited Visa Process

By working with Architect-US, American firms can hand off the time-consuming and frustrating paperwork and instead focus their energy on finding an applicant who is the best fit for their office. If you are trying to fill a position, and have not yet found the right candidate, Architect-US can help you expand your reach internationally. They will work with you to find the right fit, as well as provide and administer the visa sponsorship. If you’ve already found an international employee, Architect-US can sponsor their J1 Visa, enabling them to start working in just 30 days.

Not only will this relieve financial responsibility from your firm (participants cover all the visa costs), but it also relieves the mental burden of the application process from the company's HR department –  participants will be assigned a Program Advisor who will complete the entire visa application. Partnering firms are given the ability to test out a new hire via the J1 Visa, which is easier to obtain than alternative options like the H1B or the O1 Visa and gives firms more flexibility, considering the J1 Visa doesn’t require a lawyer. The cost can be covered by the visa holder, can be fast-tracked, and does not require host companies’ long-term commitment. 

The J1 Visa also provides more predictability and assurance because it is handled by the State Department rather than filing with US Immigration Services. In this way, American firms gain access to international talent at no cost to them, simply by offering job opportunities overseen by the U.S. Government Exchange J1 Visitor Program.

Top Talent with Less Effort

Finding and hiring new employees costs firms significant time and effort, which is at least doubled when looking to hire internationally. Because Architect-US was created specifically for architects and by architects, they understand what top firms are looking for. As opposed to a general recruiter, Architect-US engages applicants in an intense application, training, and interview process to find the cream of the international crop. Architect-US participants must pass a rigorous English language assessment in order to satisfy the State Department regulations for the J1 Visa, as well as a scrupulous software skills assessment when requested by the company. Architect-US works to match participants with registered firms to find an ideal fit and firms then have the opportunity to interview prospective candidates via Skype to ensure a good cultural and professional match. Hiring with the help of Architect-US is no different than hiring a local candidate, you just have a larger pool to draw from.

Matthew Berman, Principal at Workshop/APD, underlines the benefits of hosting international interns, highlighting their eagerness to learn and high commitment.

Increased Diversity and New Perspectives

Architecture is a global endeavor and everyone involved benefits from the exchange of ideas and perspectives possible via international connections. For firms working worldwide, the input and dialogue made possible by adding international diversity to an office generates unique perspectives and approaches to architecture and design in your office. For smaller firms working nationally or locally, bringing in international talent can expand your firm’s horizons through the possibility of exposure to new design approaches. By bringing the international architecture community together, Architect-US promotes a truly global sharing of ideas.

By Architects, For Architects

Mary Beth Ladaro, HR Director at Dattner Architects, emphasizes the benefits international hires bring to companies within the current inmigration scenario.

Dozens of top firms in the United States already utilize Architect-US to find and hire top international talent, including OMA, Snøhetta, Morphosis, SHoP Architects, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro among many others. Kenneth Drucker, FAIA, Design Principal at HOK NY states, “There is so much talent out there and we recognize that it makes our work much better. You can't be a global practitioner without transfusion experiences between different cultures. Architect-US is great because it simplifies the process.”

Peter Glasson, and Associate Director at SOM, describes the importance of having diverse knowledge within an office, “In other parts of the world, there are different issues of scale, urban design, and architectural technologies. Trading that information is a great opportunity for SOM, as both sides of this process can learn from each other. Creating a culture of communication between different countries allows us to create global experiences and global opportunities. We’ve already had one successful architect from Spain and are ready to open our doors to other talents.”

The Talent Gap

Keneth Drucker, Design Principal at HOK NY, discusses the benefits of Architect-US program for the industry and his own firm and the value of mentoring next professionals’ generation.

Since the economic crisis of 2008, the architecture and engineering industry has seen many of its youngest members move on to other industries. Now we face a huge talent gap for senior and experienced professionals with A+ talent and credentials. Fluctuating workloads and constantly changing needs within the industry create a demand for quick hiring without sacrificing the quality of talent. Architect-US provides firms with a large talent pool full of experienced architects and engineers from around the world who are ready to fill this gap within 30 days of receiving a job offer. With such demand for diversity and quality talent in the United States, and a large global pool of talent to draw from, it makes sense to expand and diversify your company’s recruitment tools.

Marketing and Raising Your Brand Visibility

Nowadays, marketing and brand visibility have become science. As a firm, you must think about the extent of your reach and the audience you are targeting. Since Architect-US is made by architects for architects, they know exactly the audience where you need to be focusing your on-boarding campaigns (OR talent search). Whether it be universities from around the world, architecture foundations, or their audience of 5,000+ architects globally, Architect-US allows you to tap into our network to raise brand awareness. In doing so, you are also gaining access to our diverse international talent pool, which provides you with the necessary hiring flexibility to compete with the best.

Architect-US is recognized by the State Department and trusted by over 180 top-notch firms from around the country. Find out how to become an Architect-US partner company today and access the world’s top talent without the hassle.

If you are an architect interested in multiplying your chances to find a job opportunity in the US through Architect-US partner companies’ network please find out here!

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Cite: Megan Schires. "Recruiting Architects of the World: How Architect-US Helps Firms to Find International Talent" 24 Feb 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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